Thursday, October 06, 2011

ARPPS Annual Organizational Report

It has been posted to our website and here is the Executive Summary

Executive Summary

This has been one of the better years for the issues our organization cares about.

Concerning nonprofit management of the Parkway, the county recently entered into an innovative agreement with Doug Ose to manage Gibson Ranch Park as a forprofit organization, exactly the precedent setting model that could eventually lead to our goal of seeing the Parkway under nonprofit management.

Concerning the illegal camping by the homeless in the Parkway, especially in the highly impacted area between Discovery Park and Cal Expo, with a particular and troubling concentration close to the Woodlake residential community; the new county supervisor for that district, Phi Serna, has taken a strong position.

In a February 23, 2011 article in the Sacramento Bee about the Parkway and the illegal camping he wrote:

“Parkway users deserve a safe, clean environment free from harassment or other personal threat. They should not feel compelled to avoid the parkway for fear of their own safety, which is what a number of constituents have conveyed to my office in recent weeks. They deserve better; we all deserve better.

“The American River Parkway offers one of the best recreational opportunities anywhere in the country, but it will be enjoyed only if it is safe. To that end, local law enforcement, including Sacramento County park rangers, have established added presence along the lower reach of the parkway to enhance public safety and to encourage parkway users to return.

“Let's also remember that the parkway itself is a "constituent" here. Illegal camping has produced tons of trash and debris, some of which is hazardous biological waste. Illegal campgrounds, large and small, "self-governed" or not, contribute to this problem. Along the American River Parkway, refuse has collected in makeshift dumps, and what doesn't remain in these derelict collection sites oftentimes is spread by the wind, is scavenged by animals or ends up pooled along the riverbanks.”

This is exactly the type of advocacy for the Parkway we deeply appreciate and our organization awarded him the Slobe Parkway Advocate Award in 2011, named after long time Parkway advocate, Bob Slobe, noted in the enclosed Press Release, (pp. 13-14).